Researchers at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto recently announced the launch of the Ontario Birth study which will follow thousands of women through their pregnancy, and their children, to see what effects in-utero exposure has on the later development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and mental illness. The Ontario Birth Study is the largest national study ever done, and seeks to enrol 1,200 patients in its first year. Researchers hope to study pregnant moms, their babies while in-utero, and then the infants right through to adulthood.
Upon enrolment, study participants will complete detailed questionnaires about lifestyle and provide a blood sample. Throughout the pregnancy, data will be collected on clinical information and complications such as pre-eclampsia, pre-term births and abnormal foetal development.
As the infants reach childhood, researchers will begin to look for associations between genetics, in-utero exposures and chronic disease.
The Ontario Birth Study website contains detailed information on the project, and information about enrolment if you, or someone you know, are interested in enrolling.